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Darla Moore School of Business

  • Images of Givenchy at Paris Fashion Week; image of Millie Orlando in Paris

    Alumna Millie Orlando and her photos from Givenchy at Paris Fashion Week

Luxury abroad

An MIB alumna earns Givenchy full-time job in Paris after six-month internship

From the time she was in preschool, Millie Orlando (‘21 finance and international business, ’22 double-degree MIB) has been curious about other languages and cultures. After attending a French immersion elementary school and an international middle school, Orlando could speak French and Mandarin in addition to her native English. By the time she was 13, Orlando had already been on several exchange trips to France and China.

“Given my study of languages, my many travels and curiosity for life abroad, I knew I was set on working internationally,” Orlando said. “I knew studying international business would help set me up for the kinds of roles I wanted. Global leadership and cultural studies in the business sector were enticing to me, so I was one of the few kids in high school who already knew the major I wanted to study!”

Orlando spent the past six months as an intern with Givenchy in Paris. She said her experience has been nothing short of a glamorous whirlwind.

“In October of 2022, I had the opportunity to organize the Europe and Middle East region’s client experience for the Spring/Summer Givenchy Women’s Fashion Show in Paris,” she said. “Working in the retail division of Givenchy, I handled the client experience. I selected the clients to be invited and organized their entire experience throughout the weekend in collaboration with the store teams. I planned dinners, spa experiences, champagne tastings, private shopping appointments, hotels, chauffeurs, travel, gifting and everything else that we offered to our top clients.”

Orlando also had the chance to personally engage with some of Givenchy’s top clients, which she called “an amazing opportunity.” She had to sign a confidentiality agreement, so she cannot identify her clients.

Before beginning the MIB program, Orlando graduated from the Moore School’s undergraduate international business program.

She said, “Without the MIB double degree with ESSEC, my path to working in luxury would have been much slower. Being overseas at a top French university allowed me to find an internship within an LVMH company and stay overseas to work.”

She also said her undergraduate and graduate courses have prepared her for many of the scenarios she has encountered since starting at Givenchy last summer.

“At the Moore School, we learn to use our cultural understanding to look at each situation not only from our lens but also from each stakeholder’s point of view,” she said. “Now that I work for a major international company, I do the same analyses I practiced in school. I must balance the traditionally French heritage of the Givenchy brand with their presence internationally, staying with brand-image guidelines, all while adapting strategies locally to best build relationships with our clients.

“My job relies heavily on relationships, and culture plays an integral role. It’s a real application of all the cases we studied at the Moore School.”

Orlando’s education and experience has also given her some unique insights into the international business industry overall.

“One of my biggest strengths is understanding cultural differences and strategizing how to best navigate these challenging and sometimes business-inhibiting situations,” she said. “Surprisingly, the cultural piece is still missing in many international companies’ strategies and mindset, so I see it as a big opportunity in the very near future in the general business sector.”

In five to ten years, Orlando said she would like to have obtained her European Union citizenship, the lack of which has presented a logistical challenge as she has traveled between Europe and the U.S. She also wants to “continue to grow and gain international experience within the luxury industry” and to explore sectors beyond fashion, such as fragrance/beauty, travel and jewelry to broaden her skills and experiences.

Orlando is also intrigued by international mergers and acquisitions from a cultural and social perspective and said she believes that many companies are unsure how to properly navigate them.

“I would love to build strategy for luxury conglomerates like LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton as they navigate frequent mergers & acquisitions,” she added. “As they continue to buy and expand overseas, M&As will become more and more important.”

For Orlando, her Moore School education has helped her get closer to achieving the life she has envisioned for herself since she was a child.

“The whole reason I applied to the Moore School for undergrad and MIB was to one day work overseas in the luxury industry,” she said. “I am happy to say that I finally accepted an offer to start my career in fashion in Paris, which is an absolute dream!”

Orlando’s 2022 internship with Givenchy led to her first full-time role after finishing her double-degree MIB from the Moore School and France’s ESSEC. She began earlier this month as Givenchy’s Europe, Middle East and Africa clienteling coordinator out of their Paris office.

-Sydney Hankinson

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